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How Many Video Meetings Is Too Much?

It may seem hard to remember, but not long ago, video meetings were the exception, not the rule. Since the normalization of remote work, video conferencing has become a way of life in the business world, and that trend is not expected to change. Gartner predicts that only one-quarter of business meetings will take place in person by 2024. The problem with this is, too many video meetings cause their own set of challenges. Without video conferencing time limits and restrictions on the number of meetings, employees may start experiencing some of the negative effects of virtual overload.

Let’s look at the problems associated with overdoing it and how your organization can decide how many video meetings is too much.

Why Will Video Conferencing Be a Big Part of the New Normal?

For companies that shifted to a work-from-wherever model during the pandemic, video conferencing has been a lifesaver. With the right technology, employees can stay connected with face-to-face meetings, offering the next best thing to in-person meetings.

Collaboration sessions, group huddles, and everyday meetings never stopped. Instead, they moved online. In this way, video conferencing makes productivity possible from anywhere and is helping to usher in a new era of location-agnostic work.

That’s doesn’t mean, however, that having more meetings leads to more productivity. The reality is, to get the most out of video conferencing, organizations that plan on using a remote or hybrid work model moving forward need to find the right cadence for their employees.

Too little can leave employees feeling disconnected. Too much can lead to overwhelm.

With time limits and boundaries, on the other hand, teams can benefit from the advantages – flexibility, convenience, and seamless collaboration – while avoiding the downsides.

What Are the Potential Pitfalls of Excessive Online Meetings?

Without limits on how much time your employees spend in video meetings, individuals may start to burn out, which can drag down productivity rather than boosting it. Here are some of the risks of too much online meeting time:

  • Researchers at Stanford found that back-to-back online meetings can lead to feelings of exhaustion afterward, a condition they coined as “Zoom fatigue.” Using a video conferencing solution that has interactive features such as screen annotation and remote control can help to engage employees during meetings rather than wearing them out.
  • Another issue is information overload. As video meeting participants work to focus on multiple small faces at once to engage in conversation, they can become mentally tired. This is the opposite of what you want to happen during employee collaboration. To remedy this, make sure your solution uses high-quality HD video conferencing for better screen clarity and a user-friendly screen layout.
  • Staring at screens for long periods of time can create health issues, such as blurred vision, headaches, and neck and back pain. It’s estimated that around 58 percent of people who work on computers suffer from these symptoms. Regular video meetings only exacerbate this problem – instead of interacting with colleagues in person, virtual sessions become one more task that involves staring at a bright screen.

By using video conferencing time limits and being conscientious about the number of meetings employees are joining every week, you can prevent problems like fatigue, eye strain, or burnout from ever happening.

How Long Should Video Meetings Be?

First off, time limits. Video conferencing gives users the opportunity to engage face-to-face. This is useful for reading the other person’s visual cues and gauging their emotional responses – two necessary things for good communication.

But, to get these benefits, you don’t need to have a long meeting.

Try to limit virtual meetings to 20 or 30 minutes. If you can’t fit everything into half an hour, consider breaking up your meeting topics into smaller chunks. That way, you can focus on one topic, converse, and get back to work without draining anyone.

To help you keep meetings short, create an agenda beforehand, email it out to participants so they can be ready with questions or comments, and stick to the plan. Also, let everyone know how long the meeting will be so everyone is on the same page.

How Many Virtual Meetings Are Okay Per Week?

The answer to this depends on the job role and the need to connect with other co-workers or teams to keep projects and everyday operations moving along smoothly. Someone in sales may need to meet with several clients each day, while your creative teams can collaborate on an as-needed basis.

The bottom line is, keep meetings to a minimum. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Use other forms of communication. With a cloud-based unified communications solution, remote teams can just as easily jump on an audio call or chat to resolve an issue or go over a topic. This connection diversity puts the power in your employees’ hands – they can decide how to communicate and use the channel that’s most suitable for them.
  • Plan ahead. If your employees tend to launch impromptu video meetings whenever an issue comes up, consider planning out communications at the beginning of the week. Decide what teams can cover and when, and then set time boundaries on each scheduled video conference.
  • Use tools to make meetings more concise. Let employees know that they should keep presentations short. They can use screen sharing and annotation tools to cover a topic or idea quickly and to help everyone get on the same page.

Get the Most Out of Your Virtual Meetings

Make it easy for your remote teams to stay engaged with the right communication tools. Intermedia Video Conferencing is a user-centric solution that gives your employees everything they need to stay connected, no matter where they are located. Contact our team to learn more.

About Darcy Mekis